Every single one of these "disappointing retailers" from last night, every single one, isn't all that dire. Macy's (M) is making some needed changes to boost profitability in the new not-so-hot-mall world. Sure, you wished you had comparable store sales as good as J.C. Penney (JCP) -- these were a shade below -- but I get it, and I have been pushing for a Nordstrom (JWN) Rack-like concept for Macy's. Hey, I have a Neiman one right next to me in Brooklyn, and it is jammed. Why not a Macy's junior?
Container Store (TCS)? Was anyone really looking for anything good here? Comp stores were down 3.5%, not the one change people were looking for, but this stock's down so much, I mean, I don't even know if it will matter... not that I am tempted. To a person, the people I know who went here for the holidays felt that the stores were simply chaotic and the throughput horrendous.
Five Below's (FIVE) been inconsistent for a year now, and it was inconsistent even within the quarter: some good, some bad, and a strong finish. I actually liked Bed Bath (BBBY), because I am used to estimate cuts, not affirmation. It's fine, but there were some real wild high expectations being built here. Not a disaster though at all.
There's only one problem. With the exception of Container Store I think everything's moved up so high, that we won't tolerate this kind of disappointment. These aren't Family Dollar (FDO), where there are two suitors underneath and you have these mammoth retail runs from the Ebola scare bottom.
It was pretty clear that by yesterday afternoon you had to sticker everything as "wait for a pullback."
We are going to get that pullback now.
If you waited, will you use it? I say don't buy the first day down. Wait. People will now presume that Penney was stronger than anyone thought, and the rest are weaker and everything has run.
You will get your chance, and when you do, you want to buy Macy's, forget about Five Below, be intrigued by Bed Bath in the low $70s and forget the Container Store, because it's just still too expensive given its sloppy execution. After these runs, we have to be disciplined -- and those marching orders are as disciplined as you can get.